tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC August 11, 2021 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
>> all right that is gonna do it for us tonight, thank you for being, here you know tomorrow is? it's friday eve, what? see you again tomorrow night, now it's time for the last word where ali velshi is in for lawrence. >> are you in on friday? >> yes. >> friday is the day that the pillow guy says the president in the vice president are going to resign in the previous guys gonna become the president again, he's put out the date. >> i'm totally going to love that, it's gonna be a big day. >> that might be what we talk about on friday night, i don't think so. katie benner is the soundtrack to the survival of democracy, we're getting most of her information from her. i'm curious about one thing she said about the ig report of necessity and methodical and it could take a year. as you get more information that this was a plan, this
insurrection attempt, was a real plan, how do we even translate that, how do we sit around and wait a year for inspector general's report about the fight that donald trump was calling up people and saying flip this election for me? >> exactly. i appreciate the balance that she's talking about that when you're talking about people having committed crimes in the political context, in this case overthrowing the government, and keeping somebody in power, we don't criminalized politics. you can commit a crime in a political context, but it has to be approached so much -- that if you get voted out of office you end up in jail, that has to only happen if you are definitely a crook committing crimes while you are a politician. and so there is a balance that has to be found, but merrick garland has a justice department where all of these former high ranking officials may have participated in very
serious crimes, and the justice department has to self police its own officials in a way to fix that faster than any criminal court proceeding could. >> as you said, he walks into a crime scene every day. >> that's right. >> thank you, my friend. we will see you tomorrow, rachel. breaking news tonight, we have new details on the abrupt resignation of the united states attorney just weeks before donald trump left office, today during three hours of testimony before the senate judiciary committee, b. j. pak, the former united states attorney for the northern district of georgia explained his unexpected departure. trump was upset that pak would it live for him, katie benner reports that b. j. pak told the senate paddle that he had been dismayed that mr. pak had investigated allegations of voter fraud and not found evidence to support them, according to a person familiar with the statements. mr. pak testified that the top officials made it clear that mr. trump intended to fire him over his refusal to say that
the results in georgia had been undermined by voter fraud, the person said. resigning would preempt a public dismissal, and quote. b. j. pak as the third government official to testify in front of the committee about donald trump's efforts to abuse the justice department for his personal gain. that's not good for the former president, but it's also frustrating because once again we hear about something that sounds like criminal behavior by donald trump, and so far he has not been held accountable for that behavior which goes to a bigger point on accountability in the wake of the 2020 election. trump told his supporters to attack the capital on january 6th, he used his election lies, lies that he wanted to be jay pack and others to spread to propel those protesters to action, to incite an insurrection. more than 550 people face federal charges for invading the capital, but are those charges actually enough to prevent another interaction?
that's the concern of chief u.s. district george, during a plea hearing he asked why a defendant who terrorized members of congress was getting off merely on a misdemeanor? quote does the government in agreeing to the petty effects in this case have any concern about deterrence, and quote. >> any concerns about deterrence, for the capitol attackers. what about donald trump, who egged them to go there? what about donald trump's lost cause rallies which are still pushing that same lies that incited the coup attempt from inside and outside the capital. do we, as a country, have any concern about deterrence? deterrence for donald trump, who still filling our politics with his lies, deterrence for the next donald trump and the bad actors like russia who want to help america's democracy to fail? this is not about punishing the
past, as valuable as that may be, it is actually about protecting the future. it's about protecting american democracy which became, which came perilously close to being undermined. on monday in a different capitol riot case, judge howell questioned the financial consequences that they face, i find the damages of one point $5 million when all of us taxpayers are about to flip the bill for close to a billion dollars a little bit surprising. see last month congress passed a 2.1 billion dollar security bill to secure funding for the u.s. capital and the capitol police. that's why we, the taxpayers, are paying to ensure that another january six doesn't happen. but what's good does that protection do, it's the criminals who attacked the capital are not sufficiently punished? what good does that protection do if the man who incited the insurrection is never held accountable? as we've seen time and again, the only authority that has been willing to hold trump accountable so far has been the
united states congress. and he might be held accountable once more by congress, in this time it's by a house committee investigating his business dealings. pete williams reports that the committee can proceed with the subpoena to get documents from the accounting firm to examine the nature of trump's federal lease for a hotel in washington. the committee can also get financial records to look whether trump's income on overseas properties violated the constitution's ban on foreign email humans. let's see what happens when the committee gets their hands on that. leading off our discussion tim o'brien senior columnist and the author of trump nation, and michael j. more former u.s. attorney for the middle district of georgia, he's now a partner at a law form in atlanta. good evening to both of you. michael, let me start with you, did you work with b. j. pak, did you know him? >> i know him i was in the group that proceeded him under the obama administration, we
have known each other for a number of years. he's a good guy, i think he's an honorable guy, not surprised that he would get in front of the city committee and get the straight skinny on what went on. nor am i surprised he would have the integrity to sit down as opposed to being used as a pawn to push the big ally. the timing of his leaving and the calls to raffensperger, those are happening in a vacuum, and they're not -- i have a lot of respect for the fact that he stepped down and more respect that he was not going to perpetrate the big lie. i >> yeah, i am fascinated by that, i'm fascinated that a handful of people decided not to perpetrate that might be standing between us and the demise of our democracy, glad that they exist. tim, i want to listen to what senator richard blumenthal has surmise on our air that there might be a criminal referral from the inspector generals office, here is what he said
about mr. pak's testimony. >> there are details that come to the front that might not be surprising but are important, every one of these injuries produces very important information, but also leads us to additional witnesses, and we know also that there is a pattern here. trump has surrounded himself by acolytes who do his bidding and enable him to launch these kinds of him proper pressure campaigns. >> two things he said there that are important and relevant to things that you studied about donald trump one is not surprising buzz important, which could be the title of a book on donald trump, and the fact that he has surrounded himself, as you have written about, four years, with acolytes and sycophant. >> not just acolytes and sycophants, ali, it's people that he can corrupt. oftentimes people who take the ball for him, or do his bidding, i think what's interesting now is with pak's testimony on the
other evidence surrounding that, the taped phone calls to raffensperger where he was asking them to go out and find some votes. the pressure we now know that he put on the acting attorney general, rosen, to also try to find or manufacture bits of fraud. even when he was getting pushback all of this goes back to intent, when richard blumenthal was talking about the fact that there might be a criminal referral, it means that we are starting to accumulate enough evidence that shows that donald trump knowingly tried to turn over the election, interfere with the election and corrupt the people around him to do this. i think the heartening reality in all of this is that you have a diverse group of law enforcement officials who stood up for the rule of law when the president of the united states who was meant to execute the law is trying to perverted.
and trump has done this kind of thinks for decades, well over five decades, the fact that he was able to get into the oval office and has been doing it there should continue to alarm people, and we need to take steps to make sure doesn't happen again. >> michael, i want to pull on a thread that rachel and katie benner were having in their conversation, a little while ago and that is this distinction that the senate and the inspector generals office will have to make between real criminal behavior, that should be charged, which i think a lot of people tonight are wondering when that is going to happen, and things that are politics, and we have to be careful of not being the country that goes after politics, someone loses an election than everyone, they and their people are all arrested and with the jail, we don't to be that country either. talk to me about that, from legal perspective. >> i don't think there's any shortage of think you can charge trump with, and i think it may be that they do that and
we might see some things go out, some financial transactions that he was involved in. the trick to me in the b. j. pak circumstance and let's just use that as an example, it's just a very short chain of command between the president of the united states attorney, the president to the attorney general, the deputy attorney general and then to the u.s. attorney, the chain of command is really short, what's unusual and what has become the norm is that the administration was using the department of justice and trying to use the united states attorneys around the country to do its bidding, more specifically trump's bidding. and so, i want to be careful and not talk about whether somebody should be charged because i really think that you do serve at the discretion of the president, you know that the president at any time can ask you to step down, he or she, hopefully will see if she one day soon, he or she cannot like something that you said in public, they might take a
different view on a case that you've prosecuted or handle and they can ask you to step down, there's nothing particularly nefarious about that. but then i think you look at things out of the vacuum, you look at things like the call to raffensperger, you look at things of the pressure they were putting on pak, those things go hand in hand, i don't know if i would say that the call to pak, and the discussion is and have to be a criminal case here, but i think that it tells a big story and it paints a clearer picture of what the administration might be doing. that might be playing into other criminal investigations that trump is facing now, whether that be in fulton county with the da's office, or in other jurisdictions. it's a piece of the puzzle, i don't think that the pressure alone anna pak puts the pressure all the way together. >> tim, michael made to point of the da and whether there might be charges coming out of that, i want to read you a deep a headline, --
consider trudging with perjury they came to suspect that the trump organization chief financial officer allen while sober glide in testimony during their investigation, a former trump personal attorney michael cohen three years ago, despite their suspicions, federal prosecutors did not pursue perjury charges against weisselberg, but his past interactions with them could now become relevant to the manhattan district attorney's office as it seeks his cooperation in the tax fraud case brought against weisselberg in the company last month. translate that into english for us. >> in english and means that the u.s. attorney's office believes that donald trump's accountant lie to them and they were seeking testimony from him about the payments that donald trump's business made to two women who alleged that they had sexual encounters with the president, and paid them hush money, and whether that was covered up as a business transaction in order to
disguise it. michael cohen went to prison for that. donald, individual number one, did not, that's donald trump. somewhere in there, examination of all alan walsh work with those two men, they believe he lied about something. we know from the tape that michael cohen made at the time that donald trump told him to go talk to allen in the tape, about how to handle the money. the problem with this is, allen weisselberg is now possibly going to be a key witness for the math hadn't district attorney's office if he flips. but the fact that he perjured himself during the federal investigation raises all kinds of questions about the extent to which he will cooperate or not, now with the manhattan district attorneys, whether his testimonies can be credible. and the third question as to why the southern district of new york did not press him harder and go after him more
aggressively if they believe he perjured himself. this has all gotten extremely messy. it's going, i think, cloud how the manhattan district attorney's office uses in, and raise questions about whether he will flip and what his value will be as a witness if he does. >> gentlemen thank you for helping us out tonight, michael j. moore and tim o'brien, we appreciate your time. coming up. at 4:00 this morning senate democrats took a significant step towards a bill to counter republican voter suppression laws in the state. and texas senator ted cruz, once again, prove that he is incapable of shame. that is next. someone once told me, that i should get used to people staring. so i did. it's okay, you can stare. when you're a two-time gold medalist,
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it was a symbolic move since a group of senate democrats are still finalizing revisions on the legislation that will reportedly include proposals introduced by the fourth guy on the top line there, senator joe manchin, a west virginia senator. at 4 am he pleaded with republican senators to join with democrats to protect voting rights, just as they did he pass the infrastructure bill >> tonight, i am again voting to move that process forward because i believe we need to come together to restore people's faith, and integrity of our elections. i urge my colleagues, democrats and republicans, to allow a debate in this critical issue and come up with a bipartisan solution that protects every americans right to vote. >> not one republican voted to discharge the voting rights bill from committee. then texas republican senator ted cruz blocked the bill from even being debated. >> this bill would constitute a federal government takeover of
elections. it would constitute a massive power grab by democrats. it would disenfranchise millions of americans, and it would be precisely the opposite of its nominal title for the people. it is instead for the politicians. we >> a takeover of elections? is he serious? republicans across this country are trying to take over elections, right now, bone against the certification of the election on january six, trying to take over elections, pushing bills and state houses that not only suppress the rights of voters but also give partisan legislators more power to overturn election results that don't go their way. senate majority leader chuck schumer promised voting rights will be the first priority of the senate when the chamber returns in september. joining us now, democratic congressman mondaire jones of new york. e is the deputy whip of the congressional progressive caucus, and democratic texas state representative victoria
neon who met with senator manchin on voting rights last month. i want to talk to you both about joe manchin and voting rights but senator, representative neave that's precious coming from ted cruz of the state of texas. precious he suggests a bill to help voting rights that you in texas have been asking for is an election takeover? >> thank you so much for the invitation. we know our communities both as a power to change the trajectory of our nation and it already has. that is precisely why they are trying to pass legislation, to enable trump's big. lightweight texas house democrats have been working very hard in texas to do everything we can to protect the fundamental freedom to vote for millions of our fellow texans. there's so much at stake right now, which is why we made the decision to rank warm in the texas legislator. we are going to continue to advocate team make sure that we urge congress to pass these
national standards which we need right away. time is of the essence, we can enable legislation to protect the voter of texas. >> congressman, jones you and i always have 1 million policy things to talk about and yet some of our time, every time you and i together gets taken away by the republican senate. sorry, i misspoke, the democratic senator from west virginia, joe manchin. what do you make of what you imagine did for the morning? he seemed to be coming around to monitor jones way of looking at voting rights. >> well, i am pleased to be joined by him in recent days, hopefully in an understanding that we will never get ten republican senators to sign on to any voting rights legislation of importance. for that reason, have to reform or abolish which as you know is my preference the filibuster in order to save our ailing democracy. he speaks as though he understands the threat, and i so appreciate that from him and
i hope senator sinema also understands the existential threat posed by the voter suppression that we are seeing pushed by the republican support party in states like georgia and florida, and of course texas. i'm so grateful for the leadership of the representative and doing whatever it takes, whatever it takes to protect the right to vote and to save our democracy. >> go ahead, sorry about that. >> we need the president to weigh in on this when it comes to the filibuster. he has to prevail upon manchin and sinema to do the right thing, understanding we are not going to get enough support from republicans to pass voting rights legislation. they feel threatened by it as a party. >> let me ask you about that. you and your delegation in various times on zooms and sometimes in person have met with various people and with a great deal of support. in washington. not everybody has told, me when i've talked to your colleagues
none of them have told me they've got in the big cook they were hoping for from the white house, and from the president. is that as representative jones says the thing you need to put this over the finish line? >> listen we know president biden and vice president kamala harris are aligned, and we know they understand the sense of urgency and the importance of this issue for us it's not just about texas for us it was about shining a spotlight on what's happening and how these stiff criminal penalties are going to implicate and erode our precious right to vote. i have no doubt, i have full faith the president and vice president are supportive of what we are doing. she took the time to sit down with, us to visit with us and we are inspired by her. we are led by faith. by millions of people who have reached out to their congressmen and women who are reaching out to their senators, who are reaching out to us about the importance of this and how fundamental it is.
we are going to continue to be led by fate. we are led by, we know we have faith in congress as well that they are going to act. we have seen meetings have moved the needle and that is what is of utmost importance for us, in creating that sense of urgency. when biden has continued to build and build and we are getting closer and closer to getting federal national standards to protect our rights to vote. >> congressman jones, she is right, momentum has been building. this has been quite the summer. we've seen arrests, some of your colleagues getting arrested. we've seen everybody in texas under threat of being arrested by the governor. where do you go from here? joe manchin has come around, like you said, sounded like he meant it when he talked about the senate. what has to happen next. how do you see this unfolding? do you feel confident manchin is in the game and he will help do this? >> many of us are led by faith and as someone who grew up in the church i know the bible says faith without works is
dead. for that reason, we need more leadership from the white house on the question of the filibuster, which is the only thing along with manchin and sinema standing in the way of saving our democracy. so, yes, i am grateful for the leadership shown by so many grassroots organizations that frankly are finding themselves in an odd situation of having to agitate against the same people who they helped elect to the white house and congress in some instances. we are building momentum and when we pass infrastructure, i think it's going to be abundantly clear to people there's nothing else we can do without reforms to that jim crow relic known as the filibuster. >> thanks to both of you for the work you're putting into this. congressman mondaire jones and victoria neave, thank you both. coming up, today, nancy pelosi said she's not making progressive spoke for the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the house before joe manchin and kristen cinema vote for the progressive reconciliation bill in the senate. that's next. senate. that's next.
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republican senators to support a one trillion dollar bipartisan infrastructure bill, but the next legislative hurdle might be harder for biden. roll call of reports that at least 8 to 10 moderate house democrats, moderate house democrats are privately expressing a willingness to vote against the democrats only budget resolution which would greatly expand the social safety net for americans if speaker pelosi doesn't first schedule a vote on the infrastructure bill. house progressives have a different plan in mind. they want democrats only bill to come first and nancy pelosi, apparently, agrees with them. joining us now, jonathan kaye part opinion writer for the washington post and a former editorial writer and columnist at the new york daily news which will become relevant in a couple of minutes. he's the host of the sunday show on msnbc which comes right after velshi and christina greer associate professor of political science at fordham university. she cohosts the podcast faq and why see, covering new york state and new york city politics.
so great to see both of you friends tonight, thank you for being with us christina, let's talk about this. getting 19 republicans to vote with democrats on the fact today is wednesday is actually a feat with this next bill, this larger reconciliation bill, he's got progressives, biden has progressives on one sign saying you've got to do that first before we do the infrastructure bill, and he's got moderates on the other side saying no, you've got to do the infrastructure bill for you do the bigger progressive stuff. what does he do? >> well, he relies on nancy pelosi today what she did with the aca and make sure all the democrats come together. i don't think it's a surprise republican senators got on board because, keep in mind, the amendments through the senate don't have to be here to the bill. i'm really curious to see some of the moments the republicans were able to push through for their various pet projects on their particular interests on the bill. for the democrats, the blessing
in the course of democrats is that they are the big ten party. they're the ones that have great ideological diversity. you have progressives who want much more action on climate change, they want biden to be a lot more forthcoming with how infrastructure moves beyond just plain transportation and really thinking about cities, suburbs, and rural areas holistically you have a lot of moderates that are sort of playing footsie with republicans. so, hopefully, nancy pelosi and hakeem jeffries was looking like her right hand man will talk to their colleagues and make sure it's passed for the american public because the democrats only have until 2022 and then we don't know if unified government will last. we need to get as much passed now before possibly republicans come into power and everything comes to gridlock or deadlock. r and ever>> jonathan, blessings right now. bottom line is legislation we are seeing generally speaking when you look at polls as got in the approval of americans. the relief that the
infrastructure bill does, this bigger reconciliation bill depending on what it is generally speaking has the support of americans we are going to get dicey when we start getting into voting rights, we should still have the support of most americans. blessing or curse right now biden has to manage this? >> well, blessing or curse that biden has to manage this? that i don't know i think he wants his agenda passed and moved on so he will have something to run on. here's something i want everyone to keep in mind. when the president and the g20, as they were calling themselves, ten democrats, ten republicans, we're talking at their bipartisan infrastructure plan, it wasn't the progressives, it wasn't the moderates, it was speaker of the house nancy pelosi who said from jump, we will not entertain this bipartisan bill without the
democrats only reconciliation bill. that is something to keep in mind. this isn't something where moderates are making demands or progressives are pressuring her to do anything. she's already laid the marker, and if anything, she laid that marker and wants this done in tandem because she doesn't want any democrats in her caucus to have to take a tough vote alone. the bipartisan, bill the moderates want it, that would be great for them but for the progressives and others and districts where clean energy, and all the other things that the democrats only reconciliation bill, if that doesn't happen, then she leaves those members vulnerable. that's why she was the one who, from the outset said the house will not consider the bipartisan bill without the democrats only reconciliation bill we will pass them at the same time. >> that would solve a lot of problems. one of the reasons i've got you both here is new york politics. we are going to have a new
governor of new york in two weeks, less than a couple days kathy isn't a people are going to become to know. let me play for you professor greer what she said today at her news conference. >> the governor and i have not been close. physically or otherwise in terms of time. i've been traveling the state and do not spend much time in his presence or in the presence of many in the state capital. but that's what's being reported. i want to stand right here at the end of my term, whenever it ends, no one will ever describe my administration as a toxic work environment. >> that's a nice promise to hear, right? i mean, what a great thing to say. no one has ever described my time as a toxic work environment. boy, she's got her work cut out for her. >> she does. virtues, got to wait for andrew cuomo to submit his letter of resignation, which he's not done just yet. then she has to have some healing that needs to happen, not just across the aisle but within the democratic party.
the role of the lieutenant governor in new york state is relatively weak role of a -- kathy hocus don't chuck schumer has done, visiting all the counties throughout the state. she has a lot of friends, she's known as a hard worker, straight shooter she's been through some hard races in her career. that's probably why andrew cuomo chose her he chosen his running in separate -- one and a woman on the ticket. she was very clear about that. we know kathy comes in at a time when there's a lot of distrust in albany the culture of sexual harassment and improprieties does not begin or end with andrew cuomo. she does have her work cut out for her but because of so many egregious behaviors that will continue to occur in albany. we leaving all of that out will be a challenge. she has covid in front of her, lots of other policy issues that quite frankly she didn't have on her docket as lieutenant governor. she's coming in with fresh eyes and ears which is april and icon in some ways.
>> jonathan kaye part, your thoughts? >> look, i think the number one thing she did in her press conference today, ali, was to show people of the country but the people of new york state she is ready. that was a thing that left out of the screen at me that this is someone who, lieutenant governor in a job that doesn't have a lot of power, but she gave a sense, she was confident, she was on top of things, she made a, at least made me feel comfortable that the great state of new york is going to be transitioning to very capable, very competent hands. i'm really looking forward to seeing who she chooses as lieutenant governor and who she is going to put in her cabinet and how she actually leads. one press conference, the first impression on a much bigger stage was really fantastic. now the fun part begins to see okay, how did she govern? i am more confident than i ever was that she will be a
confident and competent successor to her predecessor. >> the country is going to get to know her as the next governor of new york. thank you to both of, you're so great to see you both. christina greer and jonathan capehart, we appreciate you joining us tonight. coming up, florida has got the highest number of kids hospitalized with covid in the country and rhonda scent is has decided to wage war on schools trying to protect incidents including children who are too young to have access to the lifesaving vaccine that rhonda scent is got. instead of this and it has political career, republican donors over warning him with millions of dollars. that's next. ars. that's next. unlike ordinary memory supplements, neuriva plus fuels six key indicators of brain performance. more brain performance? yes, please! neuriva. think bigger. there's an america we build and one we explore. one that's been paved and one that's forever wild.
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department of health to request 300 ventilators and other breathing devices from the federal government. despite his hands off masks off approach to the pandemic, or perhaps because of it, rhonda scent is is being rewarded by republicans with donations from across the country as hospitals in florida are filling up with a sick people. political reports, quote, desantis political committee brought in four point $3 million last month and has more than $40 million in the bank, a sizeable advantage over his democratic challengers. the hall speaks to desantis popularity nation wide, and positions him well if he chooses to run for president in 2024, and quote. joining us now, florida's agricultural commissioner nikki free, to the states highest ranking elected democrat. she is a candidate for governor, commissioner freed good to see you. what do you make of this not being in florida? i look at it and i wonder how does this feel in florida? the state must know they've got way more covid than anybody
else has right now and you've got a governor who seems to be on covid's side. >> thank you for having me here tonight. i have three stepsons. when they act, out last thing we do is reward them for bad behavior. unfortunately we are seeing republicans across the entire country reward this bad behavior. the people here in the state of florida are revolting. we have seen this governor has threatened to take funding and defunding our school system if our school boards and our superintendent actually mandate masks in schools. he's going through with that threat, extending letters to our school board members who are trying to do what's right for their kids. we saw a whole bunch of school start back up this week and the parents are revolting you are seeing in very red areas, 90% of the parents are sending their children with masks because this policy he is trying to push this not going to be followed by the people of
our state. they understand we are in an emergency, even though our governor is traveling across the country, raising money for 2024 bid and risking the lives of not just individuals from the state, but our children! our kids that have no other protections that can't get the vaccine, and wearing a mask. he is taking a war on our kids at the sake of his 2024 presidential run >> that does, obviously, fill in some of the, blanks right if he's thinking about this as a national policy. our florida state republicans going along with this? >> unfortunately, that's the case. the only caveat i'm going to say there is the governor has actually threatened to have a special session to harm our school districts and our school boards. the president and speaker of the house has said no. whether or not they do that when they come back during committee weeks in september, yet to be seen but we are seeing republicans across the state backing up this president,
sorry this governor, my god, that's a freudian slip there. our governor because he has a tendency to be very vengeful and take out, you know, horrible reputations repercussions towards people that are not agreeing with him. he's scared a lot of republicans here in our state to stand up against him but the people of our state and especially our parents are just not having it. >> nikki fried thank you for joining us nikki fried the commissioner of agriculture and consumer services in florida and she is a candidate for governor. coming up, anti mask is heckled and threatened health care workers at a school board meeting in tennessee where the covid positivity rate is in the double digits. we will tell you what happened after this. after this
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return to school, the debate over masks has become more polarizing and more dangerous. apparently not just dangers for the kids. >> that was the scene in franklin, tennessee were a crowd of anti mask protesters heckled parents outside of a school board meeting after the board passed a temporary mask mandate for elementary school children. some of the parents being heckled our health care professionals, they crowd actually shouted we know who you are. according to the american academy of pediatrics, 93,824
child covid cases were reported last week. it's almost 100,000. children, with covid. still not a vaccine approved for children under 12, so parents are understandably concerned about sending their kids back to school. parents like doctor uché blackstock who charter concerns on twitter this week as a physician and parent of two little ones under 12, i'm more concerned about sending them back for in-person learning this year, that i was last year. this year, classes will be back to full size and then there is the more transmissible delta variant, plus not all teachers and staff are vaccinated. i know there are other concerned parents out there. we want to keep our babies safe and protected. know what's going on in your school, masking, distancing, what happens during lunch, testing, ventilation, etc. joining us now, doctor uché blackstock, an emergency but medical forces in the founder and ceo of advancing health equity and at msnbc medical contributor and i think in a couple of tweets, you gave
voice to what so many parents are thinking right now. i mean, parents want their kids to go back to school, they want their kids to get an education they don't want them to lose any more time. there are so many variables right now to try and make sense of as a parent. >> thank you so much for having me. i wanted to make sure i gave voice to the concerns because so many parents out there, we are scared, we are concerned what happens over the next few months is going to dictate the rest of this pandemic and we cannot afford to mess this up. we need to get this right. and we know what works! we know a multi layered mitigation strategy works, that masks, ventilation, testing, vaccinations for all eligible people in the school, but those strategies actually reduce the risk of spread. we need to make sure we are supporting our schools in doing. this so, for example, the fact parents have to go out and look
for high quality masks for their children, to me, is inexcusable. the american rescue plan should put money aside for schools, for this reason. there should be piles of masks at the front doors of schools. parents shouldn't have to worry about testing, every family should get rapid at home testing kits. i think we need to do more for our families, need to do more for our schools that are currently being done. >> doctor blackstock, i've been talking to doctors were ear and a half and most of them don't want to get involved in the politics, of what's going on. they spent last year trying to say lives and many health care professionals are a little puzzle that in august of 2021, they are now still dealing with that kind of stuff, even though there is a vaccine. how are we squaring this? there are people getting burned, out there are nurses who are quitting their jobs at a time where we need them. there are doctors who can't take another year of this. >> right, i understand. i was on the frontlines last
year, caring for patients with covid. it was life-changing for me. i think, what we need, we need policies in place to protect people. right now, we need to have a universal mask mandate. at the minimum. almost every state is substantial or high transmission levels. okay? we need the president and the cdc to step up regarding that. we need them to make this about the collective good versus individual and personal responsibility. we need elected officials in those southern states, in those other states that are preventing mask mandates and vaccine mandates, like biden, said to get out of the way and let local leaders care for students and care for their families. enough is enough, but i do think policies incredibly important. the cdc can do a better job with communication messaging and recommending those policies
that are going to keep americans safe, and that's not happening. >> with each passing, day we are seeing more businesses who are saying we need to see vaccination proof, more employers who are saying you are either going to need to be vaccinated or be tested on a, multi layered, doing that. are we thinking they can pick up where governments and states have not been able to? can the countries employers and businesses take the lead here? >> i do think there is a role for private employers, and businesses and. this we see there is a vaccine impasse. there are a large number of people who still are not vaccinated. i think, in order to get those people vaccinated, we need mass vaccine mandates and requirements. we need everyone on board, not just federal, state and local government but also private employers and businesses. the key is we need to get to a critical number of people vaccinated. before we get there, we need to put all of those other policies in place. okay? masking, testing is still
needed we need all of those strategies, everyone needs to be on board until we get to the end of this as soon as possible. >> except a multi layered strategy isn't as [inaudible] my body my twice. that's part of the problem we are battling. good to see you doctor blackstock as always. thank you for joining us tonight. and so, this is in the interesting matter we are discussing because doctor blackstock was talking about a multi layered strategy. this is, she mentioned, a mask mandate. we do have news california has become the first state to issue vaccine mandates for all educators. hawaii announced last week that public school teachers would have to be vaccinated or tested weekly. the american federation of teachers is calling for all teachers to be vaccinated. the two things that are going on side by side or a mask mandates, and vaccine mandates that is something we will continue to discuss. we will discuss it again tomorrow night. that is tonight's last word, the 11th hour with brian williams begins right now.
>> and good evening once again, day 204 of the biden administration, millions of americans may soon be eligible for a third shot to booze their immunity, nbc news reporting the fda is expected a greenlight booster shot for immunocompromised people at first, as soon as the next 48 hour, the cdc took a step to endorse vaccines for pregnant women citing new data finding no increase risk of miscarriage. this comes amid more vaccine mandates. employees of amtrak for one where the latest to learn that they have to get the shot or submit to weekly testing on the job. same goes for all staff working and california schools, governor gavin newsom is the first state leader to push such a requirement into place. >> we think this is the right thing to do and we think this is